Baseball’s Back? It Has Never Been Away!!

Since last Thursday, the 2023 MLB season is on its way. With a lot of fanfare, MLB and the American media shouted that baseball was back. But is that really the case? Not if you’d ask me.

After the final out of the World Series, many fans go into hibernation because baseball is over. But if they look further, most of the time, the Japanese season is still going on. The same with the season in Korea. And even when these seasons are over, there is still plenty of baseball to follow and to watch.

What about the Austrailian Baseball League? What about the big number of winter leagues throughout the world: Venezuela, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Taiwan, to name a few?

Sometimes I get into discussions with American baseball fans when they say they miss baseball in the off season. When I point out there is still plenty of baseball to follow and to see, they make some sneering remarks about the poor level in those countries and about MLB being the best baseball around. Still, if I tell them that many MLB players are playing in Caribbean winter leagues, they stay on their high horse. It is pretty simple to me; those people are not baseball fans, they are MLB fans. In my humble opinion, you are not a true baseball fan if you look down at lower levels.

Isn’t baseball a complete experience you enjoy no matter the level of play? Isn’t it about watching a nice game, about having a chat with fellow fans, about enjoying the atmosphere? To me, it is. I love watching baseball games abroad. I call it looking for greener pastures. In Germany, for example, the atmosphere at games is awesome at most clubs. I saw with my own eyes that after a home team was ousted from the playoffs, they still had a beer on the field with the opponent after the game. Is that something you see in MLB? In Belgium, there are not many fans in the stands, but people know each other, and that makes a nice atmosphere. I can enjoy a little league game as much as I used to love MLB games.

And if we are talking about baseball being back, it was back already three weeks ago when Division 1 in France started. It was back in early March when college baseball started. MLB doesn’t have the monopoly on baseball, even though the greedy owners would love to. Luckily, for the real baseball fans, there is more baseball on this planet, all year round.

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